By Howard Hecht
On August 24, Binghamton University’s Vice President for Student Affairs, Brian Rose, published a message on the University website regarding the now controversial, and optional, RA discussion “#StopWhitePeople2K16.”
Today, after negative media attention for the event continued to gain traction, Rose provided a second message to the student body in an effort to “provide additional perspective.”
“For those who were familiar with the hashtag used in the title, it was understood not to be literal,” wrote Rose, reaffirming what he stated in his previous message to the public. “Nonetheless,” he continued, “the program should not have been so titled. Out of context, it is offensive and alarming. That was not the intent.”
In this message, Rose has, hopefully, quelled all fears that Binghamton University supports the title of the event, and further, that events with biased titles such as this one will become commonplace.
Over the past several days, Binghamton University has been under heavy scrutiny for the event’s title. This frustration with the University is understandable, but the extent to which the event’s purpose has been twisted and molded to fit the agendas of others is just as unacceptable as the title of the event itself.
Naturally, the backlash against the University has also extended to the three Residential Assistants who hosted the event. In an effort to prevent the further involvement of these three individuals, please understand that Binghamton Review does not endorse any of the hateful attention these RA’s have received. Their names have been redacted from the image posted alongside our original article, and hopefully, other news outlets will do the same.
These three RA’s chose to host this event, and therefore, must accept the consequences that come alongside choosing such a provocative, distasteful title. That does not mean, however, that they deserve to be excluded from further calm discussions on the topics they attempted to talk about in the first place.
Binghamton Review does not apologize for criticizing the event’s title, and we do not regret shedding light an issue that so many people clearly have a strong opinion on. We do, however, hope that out of respect for the University’s efforts to apologize for the event’s title, the culmination of this controversy can be considered progress toward peaceful discussion on this campus.
As Rose wrote at the end of today’s message: “Above all, I ask each of you to consider the purpose and impact of your response to this story and let this be a teachable moment for us all.”
Binghamton Review agrees wholeheartedly with this sentiment, and we hope to continue supporting the understanding, compassionate environment Binghamton University strives to achieve.